"World Cinema: Israel"

My book, "World Cinema: Israel" (originally published in 1996) is available from Amazon on "Kindle", with an in-depth chapter comparing and analyzing internationally acclaimed Israeli films up to 2010.

Want to see some of the best films of recent years? Just scroll down to "best films" to find listings of my recommendations.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

"She's Coming Home" is characterized as 'unsettling'

She's Coming Home, directed by Maya Dreifuss, opens this week in Israeli movie theaters.  The narrative is about a 30-something woman named Michal who is at the end of a long relationship with her boyfriend.  She returns home to live with her parents in Herzliyah, supposedly to work on writing a feature film.  Ze'ev is a married man, the principal of the local high school, and much older than Michal.  When he rear ends her car, they meet and begin a relationship. 
This is a film about an adult woman's difficulties living in her childhood home with her  parents  -- it's not surprising that she would come home and not have any privacy and be shocked to notice little things about her parents and their relationship that she hadn't noticed before. This part of the film is filled with humor and much insight and quite well-constructed.  

However, it's also a film that is making a comment about a woman's self- empowerment -- or lack thereof -- about power games between a man and woman.  This part of the film is not easy to watch and honestly, quite infuriating and troubling, since the sex scenes (which seem to abound) reflect the use of violence as an abusive tool in a relationship.

The film won an award at the Jerusalem International Film Festival, 2013.  The comments of the jury were as follows:

the jury has selected a bold, unsettling work that challenges the audience to continually re-orient its relationship to its fascinating if often enigmatic characters.
The film stars Tali Sharon as Michal, Alon Aboutboul as the older man and Liora Rivlin as Michal's doting mother. 

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